The Future of Human Attendance with VR
Last month I attended “The Future of Human Attendance” hosted by Interchange.io in Camden to hear a panel of 3 speakers talk about, what is the future of VR and how will festival and club attendance evolve with it.
Some of the key highlights I took away from this talk is that VR is a long term game, its a 5 to 10 years investment. Companies will crash and burn and that it’s about being at the beginning of the next wave and to not underestimate the long term. This was something that all three speakers agreed on.
VR’s technology is miles ahead of where the talent and content is sadly and this is why it’s not taking off as quick as it should. The gaming industry is where it will take off first because that’s where the talent is at the moment. There is a lack of VR content and the content that does exist is simply not good enough. Technology in general is evolving and changing so quickly it makes it hard for them to become adopted and become the norm.
Another thing the speakers all agreed on is that for VR to work well it has to be story driven. Not only does the content have to be visually stunning, but it also needs to mean something and have an amazing story behind it. It would need more than skilled designers and developers but also with proper copywriters and art direction. As a joke someone mentioned that people like James Cameron should create stories for VR, someone of that calibre.
VR is not about replicating an existing experience and translating it into a “Virtual Reality experience”. Recreating the inside of a club like Berghain and getting someone to put a headset on would accomplish little. When you go to a club or to a festival, you go with your friends, you don’t experience it on your own. Same with using VR to “sell” hotel rooms or houses. Applying technology onto something, anything just because it’s cool is not what VR is supposed to be for.
It’s about recreating the vibe, the emotions, the sound, the smell and the atmosphere of something and creating a world around it. It’s about augmenting an experience and experiencing it with other people.
They also briefly discussed who would be the first industries that might adopt VR and the Army, hospitals and defence were the ones thrown around. Probably because those industries have the cash and headsets don’t come cheap at the moment.
Towards the end of the talk, Artificial Intelligence was brought up and something really stuck with me was when the speakers said we shouldn’t be afraid of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots because how can machines be creative? They can take the grunt, boring work and let us, the humans do the rest. We can focus on the fun stuff and have more time to be creative. That was something that I had never thought of before and stayed with me.
The speakers were Mazdak Sanii, the COO of Boiler Room, Dave Haynes who is part of the investment team at Seedcamp, and Deborah Armstrong, the creator of Glastonbury’s Shangri-La, and owner of Strong and Co. I particularly liked Deborah because you could tell that she was passionate about what she was saying and also all her mad stories she shared that night. I found her quite inspiring.
I took down a couple of links to check out from their discussions.
How I built this podcast ,atari , Virtually dead, Augmentor is a 10 week equity-free programme supporting start-ups working with immersive technologies, Day dream VR, Subpar VR, let’s you feel the bass/music and more and Thread, curating Men’s wardrobe with Artificial Intelligence.
And also you can watch the whole talk yourself below: